Watch your back
Syda Productions/ShutterstockIn line at the grocery store, I’ll hold my phone like I’m looking at the screen and snap your card as you’re using it. Next thing you know, I’m ordering things online—on your dime. If you lose your wallet, take these 10 steps to stop identity theft.
We see when you pay your bills
Pamela Au/ShutterstockThat red flag tells the mail carrier—and me—that you have outgoing mail. And that can mean credit card numbers and checks I can reproduce. Find out what else your postal carrier isn't telling you.
Watch your bank statements
Sementsova Lesia/ShutterstockCheck your bank and credit card balances at least once a week. I can do a lot of damage in the 30 days between statements. These are the most common digital passwords. Make sure that yours isn't on the list.
Always get cards with a chip
wk1003mike/ShutterstockIn Europe, all credit cards have an embedded chip and require a PIN, which makes them a lot harder to hack. Here, I can duplicate the magnetic stripe technology with a $50 machine. These password recovery questions are insanely easy to hack.
Track your mail
dae sung Hwang/ShutterstockIf a bill doesn’t show up when it’s supposed to, don’t breathe a sigh of relief. Start to wonder if your mail has been stolen.
Tear up important documents before you throw them away
EKKAPHAN CHIMPALEE/ShutterstockThat’s me driving through your neighborhood at 3 a.m. on trash day. I fill my trunk with bags of garbage from different houses, then sort later. Avoid these reasons that your password security may be weak.
You throw away the darnedest things
Suwat wongkham/ShutterstockPreapproved credit card applications, old bills, expired credit cards, checking account deposit slips, and crumpled-up job or loan applications, which have all your personal information.
Check out ATMs before you use them
driaticfoto/ShutterstockIf you see something that looks like it doesn’t belong on the ATM or sticks out from the card slot, walk away. That’s the skimmer I attached to capture your card information and PIN.
GaudiLab/ShutterstockWhy don’t more of you call 888-5-OPTOUT to stop banks from sending you preapproved credit offers? You’re making it way too easy for me.
Get a credit card with your photo on it
Dean Drobot/ShutterstockI use your credit cards all the time, and I never get asked for ID. A helpful hint: I’d never use a credit card with a picture on it. Here's when to never use a credit card for payment.